I was writing up a little essay on the use of herbs and plants in magic, and I came to the point of collecting the plants. Normally, I use a steel dagger (which is an alloy of iron and carbon), and I pondered to myself as to the reason why? Why iron?
I searched around a little as to why, according to folklore, faeries, spirits, ghosts, and witches abhor iron. I couldn’t find anything! I was so surprised. I thought maybe I could find something, but to no avail.
I did find, however, that the ancestors connected iron with lifeforce, because raw iron smells like blood (which is liquid lifeforce).
In magic Like attracts Like. I thought, well isn’t the opposite true as well? Opposite repels opposite. Fire repels water, earth repels air. Life repels death.
AH! I said. Iron is -condensed lifeforce-. It runs through our bodies. It is what turns our blood red, it is star stuff. It is the condensed lifeblood of the earth, in metal form.
What are spirits? They are non-living. They do not have flesh, or blood. They are air and smoke. SO! Condensed Iron Lifeforce repels their unliving essences. Spirits, ghosts, faeries, disembodied witches. Though, I’m sure the threatening edge of a sword or dagger probably helps, as well.
When we harvest our plants with an iron dagger, we literally cut through the power, and trap it within the stalk, or the leaf, or the root of the plant. Think of it as when you put your soaped up finger into a bowl of water and pepper. The power, the anima, the spirit of the plant becomes trapped within whatever you cut off (spirit fills form).
As I said, I -love- magic theory.
again, reblogging for future reference
Iron is often remarked as being an anathema to spirits. Used in ritual settings, oft via ritual tools which are made to have a sharp point, iron historically was been used to command spirits (especially those which one can not trust) to do a magician’s will. Additionally, iron is frequently one of the suggested metals to be used in tools which sever plant materia from it’s host in order to trap the spirit within.
The History of Iron
The use of iron (and other metals) in tool making was one of the first major revolutions for mankind. The Iron Age (occurring after the Stone, then Bronze Ages) saw an explosion in the development of the human race in all areas. In a way unlike they ever had before, mankind possessed the ability to control nature with metal which didn’t dull or wear out as easily as bronze did. It’s potentially no wonder why our ancestors discovered that this metal was also useful in controlling the unseen forces as well.
Further, iron was utilized extensively in war and subjugation of man as well as nature. Many people were bound in chains, set to work, and killed all at the hands of iron. It is no surprise why various human and nonhuman spirits fear this metal and the way in which mankind utilizes it.
Iron in Witchcraft
From the perspective of the Compass, Iron is indeed an anathema to spirits (in particular the
also reblogging for future reference